Attorney General James Commends The State Assembly On Passage Of The Double Jeopardy Bill  

ALBANY— Attorney General Letitia James commends Speaker Carl Heastie and the New York State Assembly for passing important legislation to close New York’s “double jeopardy” loophole. In response to its passage, Attorney General James released the following statement:  

“The law against double jeopardy, as currently written, contains a gaping loophole which could be exploited to deny justice altogether. The legislation that has now passed both legislative chambers, would close that loophole. It ensures that in the event that a person receives a presidential pardon based on a close relationship or self-interest, New York would preserve its authority to pursue legal action against that individual for crimes committed under state law. This legislation is a commonsense, good government measure that will ensure a reasonable check on the presidential pardon power for not only this President, but all future presidents. I thank Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins as well as the bill’s sponsors for working with my office on this critical legislation to ensure that no one is above the law.”  

Assembly Bill A6653 adds another exception to the state’s “double jeopardy” law by establishing a narrow set of criteria that would prevent the pardon power from being used for a president’s self-interest and self-dealing. To date, the state legislature has established twelve exceptions to the “double jeopardy” law. The legislation passed the State Senate on May 8th.